Improving Equity in Health Leadership

Carene Roxanne Umugwaneza is the 2018 recipient of the Moskovitz Scholarship for Women in Global Health Leadership. Photo by Samia Kemal for UGHE.

Women are disproportionately affected by the burden of disease, comprising of almost 75 percent of the health workforce in most countries, and making up the majority of global health students worldwide, yet they are still grossly underrepresented in positions of leadership among global health organizations. Gender-based challenges, including mental, sexual, physical, and reproductive health, are better understood and advocated for when women leaders are at the helm.

In response to this pervasive gap, UGHE established the Moskovitz Scholarship for Women in Global Health Leadership. Through the generosity of the Moskovitz family, the scholarship was launched to promote opportunities for females and ensure the next generation of global health leadership reflects the demographically diverse perspectives of our time. Aimed at eliminating barriers to career advancement for women, the scholarship supports the education of an exemplary female student, who, through her actions and application, demonstrates the passion, drive, and skill set needed to raise the profile of women in global health.

This year’s Moskovitz Scholar is Carene Roxanne Umugwaneza, MGHD ‘19. Roxanne is a recent graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Kepler program, where she studied Healthcare Management with a concentration in Global Perspectives. Growing up, Roxanne’s father inspired her to work in health care. As she began her trajectory, Roxanne recognized that the overwhelming majority of decision-making roles in the health sector belonged to men. Roxanne knew she wanted to challenge this status quo and was encouraged by UGHE’s equity-driven approach to global health.

“The involvement of women in global health is all about opportunity. If women are given the chance to hold more leadership roles in global organizations, we would see our needs prioritized on a larger scale,” Roxanne explains.

Roxanne hopes that one day she too will be able to help women reach their leadership potential through advocacy, mentorship, and scholarship support.

“I want to work at advancing women’s health through mentorship,” says Roxanne. “I hope that by empowering young women, I will help them reach their goals and also give back to the community.”

Scholarships that support students like Roxanne are significant, but a mere step towards balancing leadership disparities. As the University grows its academic programs, representation remains a priority at all levels of student-life, from an equity-affirmative admissions process to career success post-university.

For UGHE, equity in health care begins with equity in health education.